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About Landsat-4 and 5

The Landsat programme is a joint USGS and NASA-led enterprise for Earth observation that represents the world's longest running system of satellites for moderate-resolution optical remote sensing for land, coastal areas and shallow waters.

Landsat-4 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 16 July 1982 and the mission ended on 15 June 2001.

Landsat-5 was launched on 1 March 1984 from the same launch site, and the mission ended on 5 June 2013.

Landsat-4 and Landsat-5 Parameters
Launch Date16 July 1982
(Within a year of launch, Landsat 4 lost the use of two of its solar panels and both of its direct downlink transmitters. The downlink of data was not possible until the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) became operational). In 1987 the TM instrument was switched off.
1 March 1984
End Date15 July 2001
(Removed from operations on 14 December 1993)
5 June 2013
(MSS acquisitions ended in 1999 and TM in November 2011. However MSS was powered back on in 2012 and limited acquisitions were made until January 2013).
Orbit Height705 km705 km
Orbit TypeSun-synchronous near-polarSun-synchronous near-polar
Orbit Period99 min99 min
Repeat cycle16 days16 days

Landsat-4 and 5 are part of ESA's Third Party Missions Programme, in which ESA has an agreement to distribute data products from the missions.

Landsat-4 and 5 Objectives

Landsat's Global Survey Mission is to image repetitively Earth's land and coastal areas with the aim of monitoring changes to those areas over time.

Landsat-4 and 5 Instruments

The Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) instrument was carried aboard the Landsat-1 to 5 missions between 1972 and 2013. The objective of MSS was to provide repetitive daytime acquisition of high-resolution, multispectral data of the Earth's surface on a global basis and to demonstrate that remote sensing from space is a feasible and practical approach to efficient management of the Earth's resources.
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The Thematic Mapper (TM) was a multispectral scanning radiometer operating in the visible and Infra-Red regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum that was carried on board Landsat-4 and 5. TM is regarded as a second generation imager for monitoring Earth's resources with considerably improved spectral and spatial resolutions over those of the MSS instrument.

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Landsat-4 and 5 Data


Through the Online Dissemination server, ESA offers registered users access to the following data collections:


Landsat-5 data can be visualised through the HEDAVI (HEritage DAta Visualisation) service. HEDAVI allows you to discover a wealth of heritage data from ERS and Envisat missions, as well as from Landsat-5 and 7, two important heritage Third Party Missions, through ESA's Long Term Data Preservation programme.
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Quality Control is monitoring routinely the status of the spacecraft (payload and platform) and to check if the derived products meet the quality requirements along mission life-time. Learn about the quality control activities for the MSS and TM instruments: